A highly sensitive strategy for monitoring real-time proliferation of targeted cell types in vivo

Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 14;14(1):3253. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-38897-5.


Cell proliferation processes play pivotal roles in timely adaptation to many biological situations. Herein, we establish a highly sensitive and simple strategy by which time-series showing the proliferation of a targeted cell type can be quantitatively monitored in vivo in the same individuals. We generate mice expressing a secreted type of luciferase only in cells producing Cre under the control of the Ki67 promoter. Crossing these with tissue-specific Cre-expressing mice allows us to monitor the proliferation time course of pancreatic β-cells, which are few in number and weakly proliferative, by measuring plasma luciferase activity. Physiological time courses, during obesity development, pregnancy and juvenile growth, as well as diurnal variation, of β-cell proliferation, are clearly detected. Moreover, this strategy can be utilized for highly sensitive ex vivo screening for proliferative factors for targeted cells. Thus, these technologies may contribute to advancements in broad areas of biological and medical research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Erythrocytes, Abnormal*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy